I think one of the biggest problems of the Arab world today is the “Do whatever you want as long as I don’t catch you doing it” mentality and attitude that’s being applied to a wide variety of things we just don’t want to handle.
This problem exists at all levels of our Arab societies, and it’s simply a way of avoiding to face the issues and problems that exist and taking the necessary steps to address or solve them.
An example I’ve seen so many times at the family level: The tough father forbids his son to smoke; but he knows his son is smoking behind his back, he smells the smoke, he finds the traces, his son stinks of smoke; but as long as he doesn’t smoke in front of him and he doesn’t catch him smoking, it’s somehow fine!
Again at the family level: the parents are conservative and don’t want their daughter having any relationships with boys, yet in reality they are more or less sure she has a boyfriend, still it seems to be ok as long as they don’t catch her with him.
At the society and government levels, there are many other examples as well, one of which is homosexuality; As a mainly conservative society, homosexuality is frowned upon in the Arab world, and is even illegal by law in some countries, but the general approach by the society and governments is to ignore it and let gay people do whatever they want as long as they’re not caught doing it.
Prostitution, extremism, bribery, nepotism, and the long list continues, are all other serious issues that are dealt with in the same way in countries around the Arab world.
The same approach is used in so many other places, at so many other levels for so many different issues and problems.
This policy of turning our back on things and acting like they’re not there happening right behind us is surely a failed one, it will only make the situation or problem worse, as we run away from the responsabilities we have, postponing our decisions, and letting our indecision and fear control us.
The fact that a certain issue is a hard one should give us all the more incentive to face it, solve it if it’s a problem, reach a compromise if it’s a sort of conflict, in short find a way to deal with it and move forward.